LAHORE - Condemning gruesome incident of killing of parents in the presence of minors in broad day light in Sahiwal, legislators from both sides of the political divide become one voice on exemplary punishment to responsible men in uniform to avoid such episode in future at Punjab Assembly on Monday.

The chair allowed debate on Sahiwal incident after suspending proceedings on agenda scheduled for Monday, though Law Minister Raja Basharat suggested waiting for report of Joint Investigation Team.

As the opposition legislators lambasted the government for such a gruesome incident, those from the treasury were holding the previous regime responsible for Model Town massacre and damaging the forces by recruiting criminals.

The session started one hour and 40 minutes beyond the scheduled time with Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari in the chair.

On a point of order, opposition leader Hamza Shehbaz drew attention of the chair toward the tragic incident, saying the PML-N would neither do politics on dead bodies nor demand resignation of anybody.  He said that counter terrorism department was well equipped to fight terrorists. But what one could do when protectors become killers, he said, adding, the incident had become horrifying dream for the survived children and it would continue to haunt them for the rest of their life. He said that Judicial Commission and not the JIT was apt forum to dig out reality and identify real culprits. He demanded hanging the culprits at the same place where they shot innocent people dead.

Raja Basharat said that the findings of JIT would be shared with the opposition leader. If the opposition was not satisfied with the JIT, he said, the government would form the judicial commission. He said that the government would take the incident to its logical ending. He said that initiating debate right now would be too early. He suggested starting debate day after tomorrow after getting preliminary findings of the JIT.

The chair, however, suspended agenda to get input from the legislators. He gave floor to legislators in a sequence, one from opposition followed by a treasury member.

PML-N’s Malik Ahmed Khan said that Model Town incident was a question mark on governance of his party. He said that comparison of one incident with the other could not be justified. He said that there were reports of killing or injury of two policemen from bullets fired from a height. He said that armed men were present on rooftops of international bakery and Minhaj-ul-Quran. He said that reaction of the government to any incident matters.

“Statement of a federal minister that terrorists were using human shield was too early and irresponsible. Extra judicial killing of even terrorists was illegal”, he said. Referring to the allegations of damaging working of police by the PML-N, he raised the question that who had stopped the present regime from bringing reforms.

He said that law minister was a trustworthy person and there was need of stopping killings of innocent people from the hands of the police. He suggested forming a House committee to oversee working of JIT.

Opposition legislator Azma Zahid Bukhari said that the PML-N had avoided doing politics on the sad incident. Referring to the Model Town incident, she said that now everybody was well aware about London plan. She said that CTD tried to present the case as killing of terrorists in encounter but true story surfaced due to camera footages. She said that footage of dead body of driver while seat belt fastened has contradicted police claim of encounter. Even if he was a terrorist, she said, what was need of opening fire on the intercepted car. She said that the JIT has summoned witnesses to the police lines which was impropriate and objectionable. She demanded constitution of a judicial commission for impartial probe of the incident.

PML-N’s Mian Naseer Ahmed said that incident has raised questions on the capacity and working of institutions. He said that a 13 year old was shot dead after snatching mobile phone from her hand. He said that even prime minister and the chief minister were in dark about the actual episode.  

Khalil Tahir Sandhu questioned Chief Minister’s gesture of presenting bouquet to children at the hospital.  

Minister for Commerce and Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal said everybody was sad due to the horrifying incident. He said that both the PM and the CM have taken notice and promised to complete all requirements of justice. If JIT report was not accepted by the opposition, he said, the government would constitute judicial commission. He said that culprits would not be spared as PTI was in power and not thieves and decoits.

Referring to the opposition demand of hanging culprits at the spot of tragic incident, he said that where were their conscience when 14 innocent people including a pregnant woman were brutally killed in Model Town. Had responsible of Model Town massacre given exemplary punishment, he said, Sahiwal incident would definitely not happened.

Minister for Prosecution Ch Zaheer-ud-Din said that the government would not allow any police man who was part of the raiding time to leave the country till completion of investigation. He said that the previous regime facilitated policemen involved in Model Town incident to go abroad. He seconded the viewpoint of hanging responsible on the spot of the incident. He urged the opposition to come forward and join efforts of giving justice to the bereaved family.

Minister for Housing Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed said that the purpose of last press conference was to share preliminary details with the people. He said that the culprits would be brought to justice. 

PTI’s Raja Yawar Kamal said that his party of harvesting the crop sown by the previous regime. He accused the PML-N of recruiting criminals that damaged working of the police. He said that PTI had just completed four month and the situation of the institutions was due to past misdeeds.

As the law minister moved a motion to take into consideration the Punjab Domestic Workers Bill 2018, PML-N’s Waris Kallu pointed quorum. As the quorum remained incomplete first after ringing bells for five minutes and later after a break for 15 minutes, the chair adjourned the session till Tuesday (today) at 11am.